On Wed, 15 Nov 2000 23:24:27 +0100, "Piotr Gasiorowski"
>My own private analysis is *wei-h1 (details can be provided on demand)
> -- in either case we have h1 in what is clearly an animate dual of sorts, don't we?
Maybe my conjecture [*h3 -- animate, *h1 -- inanimate] was somewhat
premature. We certainly don't see the exact same thing in the plural
where *s would correspond to "active/animate" and *i to
"inactive/inanimate", according to my analysis of these forms (pPIE
*-atu ~ *-ati). The fact that there is no real inanimate plural in
PIE makes it hard to draw any kind of conclusion at all, except that
maybe there originally was no inanimate dual either.
On the other hand, that the pronouns, and especially the 1st person
(pl. *wei- more common than *mes, versus 2nd. person pl. *jus more
common than *swei-), should show a predilection for old "inactive"
forms is not surprising, if we assume the *-u case was ergative and
the *-a case absolutive, with the first person the most likely to
switch to a nominative/accusative system first, then second person,
then human animates, etc., according to the universal hierarchy.
Miguel Carrasquer Vidal